New positions open to the public at the Elkhart police department
ELKHART, Ind -- The Elkhart police department says they're struggling just like other industries, to keep a complete staff and for that reason, they're opening up positions to civilians.
The work shortage for the Elkhart police department plays a role that forces officers to be pulled from other tasks, to fulfill the roles of crume scene technician, public information and data analysis manager.
Roles that forces Chief Seymore to have officers in on the weekends, during their off days, to cover the roles.
"I don’t know if it’s a labor shortage necessarily or if it’s something else that’s factored into it but I hear the same kind of opinion that it’s tough to get employee. I hear that in the service sectors, restaurants, and grocery stores. It’s the same challenges in law enforcement." said Chief Kris Seymore
The roles will be fulfilled by civilians, meaning, they won't be sworn officers.
As of now, the idea of opening the roles and costing the city an additional $200,000 after salary and benefits, has been endorsed by the city finance committee.
The crime scene position will have a salary of $52,500 and the combined roll of public information and data analysis, providing a salary of $62,500.
Both in place to relieve officers and allow them to be on duty in the community.
"I can't take an existing sworn officer and move them into that role but there are some models out there in other departments where civilians with a forensic science background education or former law enforcement doing this and now they’ve maybe retired or just gone into a different field and they want to get back into it." said Chief Seymore
The next steps being to have the city council approve the roles for civilians, along with the budget approval.
The roles will be filled just as any other role in the department as they perform the same steps.